AFCC MN Annual Conference – RE-CAST

This event is a re-cast of our Annual Conference in July where we had teamed with
Overcoming Barriers to present “What To Do When a Child Resists or Rejects a Parent: Building a Tool-Kit for Professionals.”

Minnesota Board of CLE: 9.25 CLE credits pending.
Minnesota Board of Psychology: approved for 10.0 CE hours .
Minnesota Board of Marriage and Family Therapy: 9.0 CLE credits – ethics 3.5 credits.
Minnesota Board of Social Work: approved for 9.25 CE hours.



Thursday July 28, 2022 – Re-Cast Thursday, Dec. 8, 2022
9:00 – 9:30 REGISTRATION
9:30 – 10:00 ANNUAL MEETING
10:00 – 10:15 Welcome, Thanks to Sponsors, Overview, Introductions
10:15 – 11:15 Robin Deutsch: Overview of Mental Health Perspective in RRD Cases
11:15 – 11:30 Break
11:30 – 12:30 Louise Truax: Ethical Considerations When Representing Clients in RRD Cases
12:30 – 1:15 Lunch
1:15 – 2:15 Marge Slabach: Overview of the Judicial Perspective in RRD Cases
2:15 – 2:45 Small Group Breakouts
2:45 – 3:00 Large Group Debrief
3:00 – 4:00 Happy Hour and Reception

Friday, July 29, 2022 – Re-Cast Friday, Dec. 9, 2022
8:30 – 9:00 REGISTRATION
9:00 – 10:15 Introduction to Team Approach in RRD
10:15 – 11 :00 Demonstration of Team Approach/Hypothetical
11:00 – 11:15 Break
11:15 – 12:15 Dealing with Complicating Factors
12:15-1:00 Lunch
1:00 – 2:30 Large and Small Group Work (Hypotheticals)
2:30 – 2:45 Break
2:45 – 3:45 Large and Small Group Work (Hypotheticals)
3:45 – 4:00 Debrief and Additional Questions

Please join AFCC-MN for a special 2-day event, Re-Cast Dec 8 and 9, 2022! For our Annual Conference, we are teaming with Overcoming Barriers to present “What To Do When a Child Resists or Rejects a Parent: Building a Tool-Kit for Professionals.” Some of the most difficult cases we face occur when a child resists or refuses to spend time with a parent. As we’ve learned, “conventional wisdom” about how to handle these cases typically does not work. This program provides an overview of what makes these cases different, and why they can be so challenging. It is designed to help attorneys, clinicians, judicial officers, and ADR providers learn how to work with these families, and with one another, more effectively when these difficult family dynamics are present.

Presenters are a multidisciplinary team, including a judicial officer, an attorney, and a clinician, who use a variety of teaching methods, including immersive break-out sessions, designed to help participants develop professional “tool-kits” to manage these difficult cases.

We are excited to offer this important information, and hope you can join us. Please watch this space for more details as we continue to collaborate with Overcoming Barriers to develop this program!

Speakers (see bios below): Robin Deutsch, Louis Truax, Leslie Drozd, and Hon. Marjorie Slabach (Ret.)

Why are we talking about Resist and Refuse Dynamics?

Cases in which a child resists or refuses contact with a parent are some of the most difficult cases we face in family law. Because these family system dynamics are so complex, they can be confounding (and exhausting) for every professional who touches them, from attorneys to mental health providers, judicial officers and guardians ad litem, to parenting consultants, and mediators. These cases can take up a disproportionate amount of time and resources on all of our caseloads, and anecdotal information suggests they are becoming increasingly common.

The forces driving these cases are powerful, and are usually set into motion long before parents come to your office (or your courtroom). There is a tendency for different members of the family to identify a single cause for the problem, and they can offer mountains of data supporting their perspective. For the decision-maker, this data can seem inconsistent, contradictory, and confusing. The reality is often much more complex and nuanced than the story any single member of the family can tell. To address these complex family dynamics, interventions have to involve the entire family system.

No matter what your role is with these families, you need to be able to understand what is going on with the whole family system – not just what your client can tell you. AFCC-MN has invited Overcoming Barriers to our Annual Conference this year to share skills and strategies gleaned over the years providing intensive interventions with these families.

What is “Overcoming Barriers” and what do they know?

Overcoming Barriers (OCB) is a 501 c 3 that is dedicated to Rethinking Parent Child Contact problems. We’ve worked to take the “im” out of impossible through our efforts to impact these difficult, challenging and complex family dynamics. We’re addressing this from a multi-pronged vision of:

  • Professional development, consultation and training
  • Education to advance the field of knowledge
  • Awareness of innovative approaches for these families
  • Effective and accessible family-centered programs

We are committed to finding innovative ways to help families where a child(ren) is resisting or rejecting contact with a parent.

The brilliant minds associated with Overcoming Barriers from its founders to its current Board and Advisory Council (Meet our Team here) are the thought leaders in the field of Resist Refuse Family Dynamics. OCB, best known for its original signature Family Camp program, has evolved and grown into an educational and training organization, providing resources such as online courses and publications for families, and family law professionals.

With the decades of experience of our team and our work with families immersed in the camp setting we understand the importance of training professionals to identify and work with families locally and early. The OCB to Go program was developed to do just that.

With a panel consisting of a Judge, Lawyer and Mental Health Professional, OCB provides program participants the opportunity to see the whole picture of best current practices in supporting families in strained parent child situations and the children who are caught in the middle of the parents’ conflict.

Watch the interview with Attorney Truax and the clinical founders of OCB to learn more about our genesis and evolution.

You may notice a difference in where our Annual Conference is held every year, as well as in the food and beverage selections.  That is because AFCC-MN has made a conscious decision to align our actions with our mission – literally to put our money where our mouths are.  We are making a concerted effort to support non-profits and small businesses in and around our community, particularly organizations owned or managed by BIPOC and other marginalized communities.  We invite you to learn more about the venue (East Side Neighborhood Services) and the vendors (Breaking Bread, Muddy Tiger, Copper Oven Pizza) for our 2022 Annual Conference.

East Side Neighborhood Services has been a centerpiece of the Northeast Minneapolis community for over a century. Today, it has expanded its social services to reach throughout Hennepin County with multicultural and inter-generational constituents.

We support our community with a holistic range of services from youth services like childcare, out-of-school time programs, summer camp, and an alternative high school, to older adult transportation, care-giving support, and wellness classes. We provide healthy nutrition with three food shelf programs. We help people gain economic stability and grow their careers through employment programs for all ages. We support family healing through our counseling programs for people who have been identified as using abusive behaviors as well as creative arts therapy for youth.

About Muddy Tiger: Muddy Tiger – Indian Street Food was founded by Jyotiee Kistner and Andrew Kistner. It has its roots in Pune’s street food culture in India. With thousands of recipes and many regions in India having their own local cuisine, Jyotiee learned that she loves creating and sharing her own food. Most of her inspiration is drawn from the street food of Western India, specifically her home city of Pune. It brings Jyotiee great pleasure to share a part of her culture and give a taste of the traditional street food that is enjoyed every day across the Western region of India.

About Copper Oven Pizza – Local Minneapolis company, Copper Oven Pizza is a catering company specializing in classic and specialty pizzas for the clients’ wedding and other special occasions. The owner, Jeff Adamek, and his team of caterers strive to produce fresh and delicious pizzas using fresh ingredients and dough.

About Breaking Bread: Appetite For Change (AFC) was founded in 2011 to use food as a tool to build health, wealth, and social change in North Minneapolis. Tasha Powell, Michelle Horovitz, and Princess Haley, AFC’s founders, were determined to grow an organization centered on the needs and wishes of the community. It started simply: listening, cooking, and eating with Northsiders to see where AFC fit. With more than 30 fast food restaurants lining West Broadway, we knew it was time to create a comfortable place to gather and enjoy a fresh, made-from-scratch meal. Since 2015, Breaking Bread Cafe has been a space for real people to come together and enjoy real (delicious) food.

AFCCMN 2022 Conference Speaker Bios

Hon. Marjorie Slabach

Marjorie Slabach, JD, is a Certified Family Law Specialist and retired San Francisco Superior Court Commissioner in the Unified Family Court. She is now a Private Judge focusing on case management and settlement conferences, although she has also heard trials where necessary. Prior to her tenure on the bench she worked with teenagers as an English teacher for many years. She then chose to become a lawyer to represent parents and children. Marge is a frequent lecturer and panel member educating attorneys and judges in the area of family law. She is a former board member of the California Chapter of the Association of Family Court Conciliation where she headed a task force to explore alternative models for serving families in the court system. She is a past President of the Board of Directors of the non-profit agency Overcoming Barriers, an education and service program that intervenes with high conflict families where a child is at risk of losing a relationship with a parent. She was named the 2010 Judicial Officer of the Year by the Family Law Section of the State Bar of California, the 2008 Judicial Officer of the Year by the Northern California Chapter of the AAML, the 2013 recipient of the Association of Certified Family Law Specialists Outstanding Service to Family Law Award, the AFCC-CA 2018 Drown Award, and the 2018 C. Rick Chamberlin Award from the AAML NorCal.

Louise Truax, JD

Louise has practiced family law throughout her career. She is currently a founding partner in the firm of Reich & Truax, PLLC in Southport, CT. Louise is a member of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML). As a member of AAML, she is served on numerous committees regarding child custody issues, served as Treasurer and CLE chair for the national organization in 2014, culminating in the receipt of the Fellow of the Year Award. Louise is the General Editor of Connecticut Family Law, a publication of LexisNexis. Attorney Truax frequently lectures both in Connecticut and across the country regarding family law and child custody issues. She is currently the President of Overcoming Barriers.


Robin Deutsch, PhD, ABPP

Dr. Robin Deutsch, is a founding member of Overcoming Barriers. In 2012 she founded the Center of Excellence for Children, Families and the Law at the William James College. For over 20 years she was the Director of Forensic Services and Training at the Children and the Law Program in the Department of Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital and from 1990 until 2012 she was on the faculty of Harvard Medical School, most recently as an Associate Clinical Professor of Psychology. Dr. Deutsch is Board Certified in Couples and Families (ABPP-CF) and a Fellow of the American Psychological Association. Dr. Deutsch practices as a Parenting Coordinator, mediator, reunification specialist, and consultant. She teaches extensively to udges, lawyers, mediators, and mental health groups in the US, Canada, Asia and Europe. She has consulted to the Family courts of Massachusetts, Connecticut and Indiana and has published extensively on issues related to attachment, co-parenting after divorce, high conflict divorce, parent-child contact problems, parenting plans, and Parenting Coordination. She is the co-author of 7 Things Your Teenager Won’t Tell You: and How to Talk about Them Anyway (Ballantine, 2005, 2011) and co-editor with Abigail Judge, Ph.D. of Overcoming Parent-Child Contact Problems:Family -Based Interventions for Children’s Resistance, Rejection, Alienation (Oxford University Press, 2017)





tuft lach


Kent Kodalen PhD, LP, LLC


Linder, Dittberner &<McSweeney, Ltd.


Rachel Sibley & James Street

ProParenting Services